ILOILO CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region VI (DENR VI) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region VI (MGB VI) entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the provincial government of Antique, Antique Sand and Gravel Quarry Permittee Association, Inc. (ASGQPAI) and Alvaniz Upland Farmers’ Association to establish a 10-hectare communal bamboo plantation in Brgy. Alvaniz, Patnongon, Antique.
The MOA was signed by DENR VI Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran, MGB VI Regional Director Raul A. Laput, Antique Provincial Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao, ASGQPAI president Mr. Julius Marcus Marfil, and Alvaniz Upland Farmers’ Association president Ms. Medalyn Quimanhan during the ceremony held at the provincial capitol in San Jose Antique today May 4, 2022.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (ENRO) of Antique Ms. Vivian Marfil gave the rationale for the activity. The establishment of a communal bamboo plantation is part of the permit holders’ compliance with their obligations in the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). Environmental commitments are detailed in the Annual Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programs (AEPEPs) with the corresponding budget, said Ms. Marfil.
DENR VI CENRO Louie Laud gave a briefing on the project detailing the three-year work program, budgetary requirements, and the roles and responsibilities of the concerned parties for the communal bamboo plantation. Permit holders pooled their environmental guarantee funds to finance the establishment, care and maintenance of the bamboo plantation.
In his message, MGB VI Regional Director Raul A. Laput said that the establishment of a bamboo plantation is a response to the call of former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in June 2020 to mining permit holders for them to allocate at least 20% of their permit area for the establishment of a bamboo plantation as the mining industry’s contribution to the National Greening Program and the country’s economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic. Permit holders can also pool their resources and adopt a communal area for the bamboo plantation site. The permit holders in Aklan and MGB-issued permit holders have employed this strategy, according to RD Laput.
DENR VI RED Livino B. Duran encouraged the concerned parties to explore more opportunities to develop a more lucrative and economically viable bamboo industry. Bamboo is a potential alternative source of lumber but there are still many uses of the bamboo given the right technology which the farmers can really benefit from, RED Duran said.
Governor Rhodora Cadiao lauded the collaborative efforts of the DENR and MGB regional offices, PENRO Antique, concerned CENRO and the SAG and quarry permit holders in the province. She also encouraged the Alvaniz upland farmers to give their best in this project and serve as a model in showcasing bamboo, a simple yet very useful plant that can benefit the environment and people, the governor said. (MGB VI)